Fire Pro Wrestling World caught my eye for one reason – the customisation. I certainly have a bit of a soft spot for being able to create myself in digital form, and being able to dress them up in spandex is always a huge bonus. I’ll just get this out of the way first, the customisation options in FPWW is so utterly, bewilderingly vast and deep. I’ve never seen anything like it. From a visual standpoint it’s easy to get a little overwhelmed, there’s sliders galore of every possible aspect of your character’s presentation, so you’re able to create a character that looks exactly the way you want them to if you’re willing to put the time in to make it happen. The sheer fact you’re able to import in your own images for ring mats along with having the option to download creations from other players, you’re never going to go without some new content to mess around with in FPWW. It’s a dream for those who love to tinker and edit to their heart’s content. I had such a blast making the FNGR GNS team;
When you finally get in the ring though – I didn’t actually have a match until about two hours into the game. I was too busy making camped up versions of Sean, Paul and Greg tbf – you start to see the whole thing unravel a tad. Whilst the retro aesthetic is perhaps one of the games selling points – it reminds me an awful lot of playing those WWF Mega Drive games, which is no bad thing – the 3D space of the ring itself is rather unforgiving.
There’s a clunkiness to your movement which can certain moves or placement. You think you have a good grasp on where someone is standing only for them to be a few centimetres to the side, which given the isometric camera angle you weren’t really able to notice. You also can’t run diagonally, which is weird. You can run into corners but only when your opponent is there? It’s all rather finicky and feels somewhat awkward. I feel like you only really get through each fight through sheer luck, particularly in the first couple hours.
There’s also no HUD, so relying on visual cues for your wrestler is imperative. You can hold L1 to give your wrestler a second wind, you’ll see them take a quick breather before getting back into the action, of course though only if your opponent allows it. It’s not neccesarily a bad thing, considering the vast amount there is to get stuck into in FPWW, the fact the game doesn’t really give you much of a direction is almost a good thing. You’re left to explore the game at your leisure and learn as much or as little as you want. The sheer amount of content at first may feel a little exhaustive, learning how to play the game though is hugely important if you’re going to make it through the ranks.
If you really want to get good at the game you’re going to have to jump into the tutorials before you do anything, tutorials that you genuinely have to seek out in order to play. Here you’ll learn the basics (grappling, throws etc) along with the more advanced movesets that you can freely adjust in the aforementioned customisation options. Seriously, there are so many. I’m pretty sure I could run my own wrestling franchise at this point, tbh.
For a series like Fire Pro Wrestling to return in such style, its hardcore fanbase are going to find few faults and rightly so, it’s no doubt encompassing exactly what the fans were after, what with the utterly bonkers customisations, online play and a mountain of modes that should keep any fan of the series going. You can throw from traditional wrestling to MMA in a flash. What FPWW is essentially a ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ wrestling game, with enough tools to tweak it to such an extent it’s effectively a wrestling game engine, and you can make the game up as you go along.
Minor camera/control niggles aside, there’s very little here I can moan about. It’s essentially the most open-ended wrestling sim you could ever want, and its creation tools along with the fully customisable licensing ensures there’s more than enough here to ensure you’re never going to get bored. How can you when the game essentially never ends?
Fire Pro Wrestling World is available now on PS4 (reviewed on PS4 Pro).
Developer: Spike Chunsoft Co.
Publisher: Spike Chunsoft Co.
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we were provided with a promotional code from the publishers. For our full review policy please go here.